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6 Nations Round 2 - Italy v England

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 08 Feb 2022, 4:20 am

First topic message reminder :

Italy vs England

Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Sunday 13th of February 2022
Kick Off - 3pm


Italy Team

Padovani; Mori, Brex, Zanon, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Petro Ceccarelli, Cannone, Ruzza, Steyn, Lamaro (capt), Halafihi.

Replacements: Faiva, Traore, Pasquali, Sisi, Negri, Pettinelli, Fusco, Marin.


England Team

Steward; Malins, Marchant, Slade, Nowell; Smith, Randall; Genge, George, Stuart, Ewels, Isiekwe, Itoje, Curry (capt), Dombrandt.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Chessum, Simmonds, Youngs, Ford, Daly.


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 11 Feb 2022, 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 11 Feb 2022, 2:14 pm

lostinwales wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If Itoje starts to get on the wrong side of the ref and he frequently does, he could end up being a bigger penalty machine that he normally is playing at lock.

What do we learn with him there, we know what Ewels can do, it fits on the back of a postage stamp. How Itoje and Isiekwe work in tandem we don't really know at this level. It looked alright last week but it takes a few games to bed in together and with the other 6 players in the pack, the Sarries connection should make it  work well.

It's a useless experiment, where as Dombrandt, Curry and Simmons together could be a worthwhile one.

He does it on purpose I think. At least one weird call a game just to get the supporters interested and often angry

Given that Isiekwe and Itoje play frequently together at Sarries I don't think they have to bed in together as a combo. I do think we need to see how well Isiekwe manages at this level. Ignoring his early caps it was a much better debut than the one Hill made, although Hill in the Autumn was better still.

Lost, I was referring to bed in with the other 6 players in the pack, especially the front three, props and locks need to understand each other.
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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 2:20 pm

Worth pointing out that Martin is 20 and Chessum is 21. Very young for 2nd rows. Itoje always was a freak playing so well as young as he did.

These guys could be the future but it could easily be 3 or 4 years before they become established internationals, if they make it at all.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 11 Feb 2022, 2:35 pm

Is this the slowest back 3 we've ever put out? I know Malins has a bit of gas, but he's not winger quick by a long stretch.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 2:56 pm

Did Goode and Brown ever play together?

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Post by Poorfour Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Did Goode and Brown ever play together?

Yup. There were a couple of seasons under Lancaster where Goode played fullback and Brown on the wing. That said, Brown by that point had been working on his sprint training with Margot Wells for several years; his problem was never top speed, it was lack of acceleration and he addressed that.
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Post by dummy_half Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:18 pm

I'm sure we must have had slower at some point - I remember Simon Halliday playing on the wing a few times, and he was so slow he couldn't run out of sight on a dark night. That would have been with Webb or Hodgkinson at full back, who both had deceptive speed - both were slower than they looked. At least that team likely had Rory Underwood on the other wing and Guscott at 13 to provide a bit of gas.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:19 pm

Italian team (from the beeb)

For Italy, Sebastian Negri has been pushed to the bench as South African-born flanker Braam Steyn comes into the starting XV.

Wing Tommaso Menoncello - Italy's only try-scorer in defeat to France - is out of the squad altogether as Frederico Mori starts and Petro Ceccarelli comes into the front row.

The highly rated Paolo Garbisi starts at fly-half, partnering Welsh-born Gloucester scrum-half Stephen Varney.

Italy: Padovani; Mori, Brex, Zanon, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Petro Ceccarelli, Cannone, Ruzza, Steyn, Lamaro (capt), Halafihi.

Replacements: Faiva, Traore, Pasquali, Sisi, Negri, Pettinelli, Fusco, Marin.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:23 pm

And pace ain't everything. Else Monye would have played 15 more. OR we could put Daly at 15. Steward was a little iffy at times last week, can't be easy for him to play with 2 relative newby wings either.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:34 pm

Steward dropped one easy ball because he took his eye off it and was thinking about where he was going to run it back to - happens to all full backs occasionally. He took everything difficult with his usual calm assurance. I don't think his lack of pace (or more, his slow 0-60 time) has been shown up at all in his international career to date.

Pace may not be everything, but you need a player or two who can either run round and away from the opposition or one that will simply run over the top of them (Lomu was never outright fast, but there is still a Mike Catt-sized hole in the ground in SA).

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:37 pm

Looking at the figures for the forwards (according to wiki). Italian pack weighs in at 871kg. England 935 - so there is an extra 64kg there, or 8kg/man.

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Post by Sharkey06 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 4:37 pm

I don't expect England to get any scrum domminance regardless of the weight - we just don't seem to be a strong cohesive scrummaging pack anymore. And I don't fancy the power generated by our second row - both of whom seem 'weak' to me. So I expect parity/a few niggly penalties each way at the scrums.

Italy will want to niggle England - why Braam Steyn (the arch handbagger) has been brought in. So it is up to England to try and stretch the game and see how good Italies discipline is when pushed.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 11 Feb 2022, 4:48 pm

I think that Randall (providing he doesn't man sausage up a box kick and get charged down) will have a good game. He's always got his eye on the break and I think we could see a couple of tries from him provided he gets a decent service from the pack.

If England click it could be quire a game.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:03 pm

dummy_half wrote:Pace may not be everything, but you need a player or two who can either run round and away from the opposition or one that will simply run over the top of them (Lomu was never outright fast, but there is still a Mike Catt-sized hole in the ground in SA).
Didn't Lomu have something like a 10.7 second 100 metre as a young athlete?  Shocked

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Post by Sharkey06 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:06 pm

I think Ewels getting this many caps is a sign of how poor the second row pool is. When you think the likes of Simon Shaw got 71 caps over 15 years, Danny Grewcock 69 caps over 10 years, Ben Kay 62 over 8 years. Ed Slater has none. Going back a few years Bob Kimmins and Dave Cusani would have eaten Ewels for breakfast. It just seems to be another sign that England no longer produc the big, nasty forwards we used to do.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:14 pm

dummy_half wrote:I'm sure we must have had slower at some point - I remember Simon Halliday playing on the wing a few times, and he was so slow he couldn't run out of sight on a dark night. That would have been with Webb or Hodgkinson at full back, who both had deceptive speed - both were slower than they looked. At least that team likely had Rory Underwood on the other wing and Guscott at 13 to provide a bit of gas.

Sure if you go back pre professionalism of course. Controversial opinion but I dont think Lewesy Cohen Robinson would be considered pacy by current standards. Perhaps better to ask if we have had a back 3 that are outpaced by their contemporaries so much? Its certainly not electric or the sort of physical players who run through their opposite numbers in spite of Marchant and Steward being pretty hefty lads. England do have a relatively fast 10-13 though.

Its not like this is Englands first choice set out outside backs. May, Tuilagi and Cokasinga would all likely be in the mix if fit. Also Jones has always valued all round footballers on the outside, and having two beanpoles sits well with the cross field up kicks they still seem to love. Its not like they had many opportunities to butcher against Scotland through lack of pace/ability to run through defenders, but did miss someone with Mays pace chasing up the kicks through and putting genuine pressure on the sweepers.

I guess we might see more of them in this game, you'd expect (hope?) England will get more chances to spread it wide than Scotland gave them. If there is an issue with pace in attack that could be more evident.


Anyway Randall the big call for this. Great opportunity for him. For the armchair fans (hi) it'll be hard for him to prove a point given the opposition, but the coaches will have specific things they are looking at and understand far better than we can how hes running the game.

Pack weight disparity is quite something albeit caveats regarding published stats.

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Post by mountain man Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:14 pm

lostinwales wrote:Looking at the figures for the forwards (according to wiki). Italian pack weighs in at 871kg. England 935 - so there is an extra 64kg there, or 8kg/man.

I'm not sure how much weight - see what I did there - can be put on the figures teams give out. If I recall correctly(prob not) I don't think SA pack were supposedly any heavier than anyone else except they certainly looked it and they certainly seem in. Most packs seem to weight roughly the same according to figures given out.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:19 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:I think Ewels getting this many caps is a sign of how poor the second row pool is.  When you think the likes of  Simon Shaw got 71 caps over 15 years, Danny Grewcock 69 caps over 10 years, Ben Kay 62 over 8 years.  Ed Slater has none.  Going back a few years Bob Kimmins and Dave Cusani would have eaten Ewels for breakfast.  It just seems to be another sign that England no longer produc the big, nasty forwards we used to do.

There do seem to be trends and fashions which seem to be moving towards more athletic players. We have had some exceptional big gnarly locks over the years and its not surprising if there are lean times. I am also not so sure how lean those times are when we have one of our best ever locks playing in his prime, although he does typify the athletic type.

We were fine last week against an experienced Scottish pack. We'll be fine in the set piece this week, and that 'bomb squad' replacement front row will be very destructive when they get on the pitch.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:26 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:I think Ewels getting this many caps is a sign of how poor the second row pool is.  When you think the likes of  Simon Shaw got 71 caps over 15 years, Danny Grewcock 69 caps over 10 years, Ben Kay 62 over 8 years.  Ed Slater has none.  Going back a few years Bob Kimmins and Dave Cusani would have eaten Ewels for breakfast.  It just seems to be another sign that England no longer produc the big, nasty forwards we used to do.

Probably the opposite ... the fact a donkey like Shaw kept getting capped when he could barely walk let along run shows how poor Englands resources were. Sure tight forwards from 15+ years ago wouldve eaten anything you put infront of them for breakfast, as the constant selection of Grewcock shows being violent savages rather than athletic rugby players was the primary concern. Someone had to stop Olivia Merle bullying Rory Underwood. That doesnt mean theyd be of any value in the modern game, as England found out in the mid 2000s.


England are without Lawes, Launchberry and recently lost Kvesic abroad. All top class locks who have pressed selection in any side. Same goes for Itoje. The fact theyve ended up starting 3 locks so many times in recent years surely suggests they have a good stable. Theres 3 in the wider squad with 50+ caps , two of them have been in successive Lions squads and the other might well have been selected if fit.

Theres arguably a bunch of other players who people might have ahead of Ewels too, but obviously Jones thinks hes decent.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:44 pm

First time I've seen Shaw described as a donkey.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 11 Feb 2022, 5:46 pm

There are barely any huge but limited locks left in the international game as keeping up with the modern game with limitations is so tough. It's not a shift limited to England.

Paul Willemse - Fits pretty much perfectly into the France pack as they have a lot of athletic, tall back rows who jump in the lineout

Tomas Lavanini - Similar to Willemse, he's a limited player but fits into the the Pumas pack because they use Petti and Kremer in the back row

Kote Mikautadze - Injuries have really hurt him sadly but he was another example of a second row that offered very little jumping in the lineout but made up for it elsewhere

Will Skelton - Another limited player but even after improving a lot rode the bench for Australia on his recent international comeback

That's about it that I can think of for big second rows that offer little in the lineout but make up for it using their bulk elsewhere. Even Lavanini in those four fits that modern mould of being very quick around the park, leading kick chases like a flanker though.

Someone like Etzebeth is just a different breed as he's absolutely gigantic but also athletic, gets around the park like a back row and is an excellent lineout jumper. Just a physical freak. His performances last year were up there with the best I've seen from a second row.

The Boks having three gigantic locks at once in Etzebeth, Lood and Snyman who are athletic enough to keep up has somewhat warped peoples expectations I think. Even in South Africa though the other locks they've used recently in Mostert, Moerat and Orie are in that more modern mould of quick and athletic.

The number of phases, tackles, breakdowns, etc in a game now are so much higher that carrying forwards who can't keep up with it isn't as simple as it once was.

In England specifically I find the claims we "never produce locks anymore" amusing given until very recently we had Itoje, Kruis, Lawes and Launchbury simultaneously. All fantastic international locks in their own ways. It's not like we are in the midst of some decades long drought in the position. Due to varying circumstances we lost three of those 4 simultaneously large periods of the last 2 years and couldn't produce three equal replacements at the drop of the hat. I wouldn't say that's too shocking really.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 11 Feb 2022, 6:02 pm

I would of thought Itoje would have been kept at lock and put Isiekewe on the flank.

I am pleased Dombrant is getting a tart 8 just hope he live up to the Hype every one is talking about how good he is compared to Simmonds.

I also hope Randall has a cracking game in place of youngs....looking forward to this game.

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Post by Armchairexpert Fri 11 Feb 2022, 6:28 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:I think that Randall (providing he doesn't man sausage up a box kick and get charged down) will have a good .

The best we not to xxx a box kick is not to do them, I hope that is the approach he takes.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 11 Feb 2022, 6:36 pm

Armchairexpert wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:I think that Randall (providing he doesn't man sausage up a box kick and get charged down) will have a good .

The best we not to xxx a box kick is not to do them, I hope that is the approach he takes.
Armchair - Can you name a decent international 9 that doesn't have a strong box kicking game?

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 11 Feb 2022, 6:46 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:First time I've seen Shaw described as a donkey.

Kicked (or at least kneed) like a mule, stubborn as one, struggle to get him to run, strong as an ox. Wouldnt want to call him an as s.

He wasnt exactly the most dynamic and skilled ball player to have graced a rugby field though was he. Fine in his time but nowadays we get chaps like Launchberry's athleticism questioned, he'd run Shaw off the park any day. Totally different set of expectations developed in the past decade, although England were late to the party on that. Sure if you're planning on having a brawl with some juiced up South Africans Shaws your man.

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Post by Armchairexpert Fri 11 Feb 2022, 7:06 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Armchairexpert wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:I think that Randall (providing he doesn't man sausage up a box kick and get charged down) will have a good .

The best we not to xxx a box kick is not to do them, I hope that is the approach he takes.
Armchair - Can you name a decent international 9 that doesn't have a strong box kicking game?

Yes I was being a bit black and white, should have added “so much”, completely over used IMHO, especially by England at the moment

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 12 Feb 2022, 6:35 pm

With regards to the locks I think the Tigers might be helping with that...if the two young Chessums develop as we might like....though again..they are athletic more than monstrous.

Isiekwe is only 23.

George Martin could then add a considerable presence at blindside to back that up.

Alfie Bell the England u20 lock is 6'8 but still under 18st...though I'm sure wasps will sharp fill him out.

Tizard of quins is another likened to Kruis...and he has just signed for Saracens...so will develop. But he's only 6'5.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 12 Feb 2022, 9:02 pm

This is a game England should win with out any problems.
But watching the under 20s the other day can give you food for thought. Do not take Italy lightly.

Having said that i am expecting England to put a big score on Italy, getting at least a bonus point try in the first 40 minutes. However if it takes longer than that, to get a bonus point i think England will struggle, and Italy may well win against England for the first time in the 6nations. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

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Post by Duty281 Sat 12 Feb 2022, 9:08 pm

Italy are utter rubbish, they shouldn't be in the Six Nations and they've regressed over the past 22 years. England will ease to a BP win. The only exception to this is if England get two players red-carded in the opening ten minutes - then it may be game on.

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Post by Armchairexpert Sat 12 Feb 2022, 9:13 pm

All home wins so far!!! Hoping the trend can be reversed tomorrow

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 13 Feb 2022, 11:20 am

king_carlos wrote:
Armchairexpert wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:I think that Randall (providing he doesn't man sausage up a box kick and get charged down) will have a good .

The best we not to xxx a box kick is not to do them, I hope that is the approach he takes.
Armchair - Can you name a decent international 9 that doesn't have a strong box kicking game?

KC, we have one on the bench this afternoon, I would agree with you in his case if you said "doesn't have a strong box kicking game, one game in three at least"
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Feb 2022, 2:30 pm

Youngs will equal Leonard's cap record today.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Feb 2022, 2:35 pm

Lol. Woodward would pick Dombrandt at lock. Then goes onto say we have to play a 12 who plays 12 for his club.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 13 Feb 2022, 2:47 pm

I think Randall needs a big game today despite his youth....he for me is the least developed of the new 9s coming through and a bad performance against Italy could put him right out of contention going forward

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Post by Heaf Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:02 pm

Oh dear - another SH ref ...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:08 pm

Never realised you were allowed to kneel to prevent a maul going forward as a defender.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:10 pm

Nice try.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:11 pm

Nice by Smith

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:11 pm

A clear forward pass in that try Smile

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Post by tigertattie Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:13 pm

Tom curry. Excellent rugby player. Terrible hair cut

Also is Italy still doing social distancing? Stadium looks half empty
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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:13 pm

What was Malins doing there

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:14 pm

Malins looks so lackadaisical.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:14 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I think Randall needs a big game today despite his youth....he for me is the least developed of the new 9s coming through and a bad performance against Italy could put him right out of contention going forward

I think he's most likely a place holder until a younger player comes through. He should have an easy game today as there's no real requirement to game manage against an average Italy team and there'll be a lot of ball to attack with.

I rate Quirke more highly and suspect JVP will overtake him within the next season. 

Italy look poor. The England error count is the only reason Italy are in the game at this point. England very inaccurate so far and some of the decision making not the best, Slade's pop to Genge for that knock on one of the worst. Sent Genge into four defenders instead of going out the back to the overlap.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:17 pm

Malins looks lost positionally


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:18 pm

Then Smith takes one little step more than required, Steward checks his run and the pop goes to a static runner instead of one at full tilt. Next phase is then on the back foot and a pass goes to Stuart's shoulder who drops it an concedes possession. Just so inaccurate all round from England.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:18 pm

That's awful by the ref to rush that.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:19 pm

tigertattie wrote:Tom curry. Excellent rugby player. Terrible hair cut

Also is Italy still doing social distancing? Stadium looks half empty
Would you pay to watch a team that hasn't won a 6 nations game since 2015? Italy struggle to break 20k outside of 6 nations games.


Last edited by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Heaf Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:19 pm

more inaccuracies ...

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Post by king_carlos Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:20 pm

Malins is a good player but looks like a makeshift winger at international level.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:20 pm

Marchant picks and passes to the ankles despite Randall standing behind him at the ruck and then Randall kicks out on the full with a woeful kick.

England should be buried already, if England play likes this Vs Ireland or France it'll be a cricket score.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 13 Feb 2022, 3:22 pm

No errors, go through a few phases and try.

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